PETALING JAYA: DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has challenged former top cop Hanif Omar to specify when and where he supposedly suggested that Peninsular Malaysia be split into two along racial lines.
In a statement, he said Hanif had two days to respond to his challenge, adding that he reserved the right to initiate legal action to vindicate his character and reputation.
“If the information is classified as an official secret, then it should be declassified.
“In any event,” he added, “would such information be classified as an official secret if I had in fact made such a proposal which caused him to give me the ‘Hanif treatment’ by putting me in prison?”
Hanif, who was inspector-general of police (IGP) from 1974 to 1994, said at an event at Universiti Teknologi Mara on Sept 6 that he had thrown Lim into jail under the Internal Security Act (ISA) as DAP had suggested that Peninsular Malaysia be split into two, “east coast for the Malays and the west coast for the Chinese”.
Lim however dismissed Hanif’s remarks, calling them “cock-and-bull stories about his past police career” which were “replete with errors”.
“This is the first time I have heard that he was responsible for my first detention under the ISA,” he said.
“In the first place, he was not the IGP when I was detained for the first time under the ISA on May 18, 1969.
“Hanif served as IGP from 1974 to 1994, after I was released from ISA detention on Oct 1, 1970.”
In addition, he said, the National Front was not formed immediately after the May 10, 1969 general election.
“It was formed in 1973, before Hanif became IGP.
“There must have been discussions for the formation of the National Front before 1973, but clearly the idea of a National Front had not even been conceived when I was arrested under the ISA on May 18, 1969.”
Lim said he had been “the most demonised political leader in the past half a century”.
“I was accused of being a communist; of being responsible for the May 13, 1969 riots; of leading street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur shouting anti-Malay and anti-Islam slogans although I was never in Kuala Lumpur after the May 10, 1969 general election.
“I was painted as a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam; called a stooge of foreign powers.
“I was accused of dominating Pakatan Harapan (PH) and making other leaders like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Muhyiddin Yassin, Mohamed Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu into my stooges and puppets; and of wanting to be prime minister if PH could win the 14th general election.
“But all these lies, falsehoods and demonisations pale into insignificance compared with Hanif’s cock-and-bull story that I advocated after the May 1969 general election for Peninsular Malaysia to be split into two, east coast for the Malays and the west coast for the Chinese.”